Author's notes: Just a little bit of introspection after the events of Majora's Mask. Originally written for the Insanejournal community thematicfandom for the prompt "loss of control."
His masks are more than just masks.
Every so often, when he stops being busy and his thoughts have time to wander, he wonders if he's gone crazy. Places that are somehow familiar though he'd never seen them before, people who remind him of people he knew back in Hyrule... not to mention reliving the same three days again and again. He's glad that's over now; he hates being forgotten.
Termina has become downright peaceful with Majora defeated and that evil-looking moon gone -- though he still catches himself glancing nervously up at the sky from time to time, half expecting to see that moon hanging there. He feels slightly better about that after he sees Kafei doing the same one afternoon.
No one else talks about the moon, only Link and Kafei. To the rest of Clock Town, as well as the rest of Termina, it's as if those long days never happened. Link sees it as it is: complete and total denial. He knows they can't have all forgotten. If nothing else, there is that piece of rock sitting in the Curiosity Shop next to a sign claiming that it's a chunk of the moon, and Link knows that several people have gone to see it. He saw them with his own eyes from his hiding place in the back of the shop.
The room behind the shop is a sanctuary of sorts -- for Link, it's a place to get away from the constant reminders of both the three days that seemed to never end and the home he can't get back to; for Kafei, it's a place he can talk about the moon and being trapped as a kid, things no one else wants to hear.
Kafei isn't here now, though. It's late, late enough that the shop is open for business; whispers soak through the wall as the owner and a customer -- or maybe a supplier -- work out a deal.
Link sits up; he can't sleep. So instead, he looks around the room, taking in the sights that never change. The room looks almost exactly like it did when he first met Kafei here, with only two changes. The first is the golden-bladed sword and mirrored shield resting against the pack sitting near the door. The second is the four exquisitely painted wooden masks resting side-by-side on the desktop.
He and Kafei have talked about masks more than once, but Link hasn't been able to explain the reasons he treats these four masks differently from all the others he's found. Kafei thinks it's because Link hasn't found out what they do yet, but it's precisely because of the masks' powers that Link can't treat them like the rest. All of his masks are magical -- some more so than others -- but only four of his masks have minds of their own. And each wants something different from him.
They can't talk to him, of course, but when he wears the masks and takes their forms, he finds their thoughts mixing in with his own. Those thoughts are never loud, just present. And the longer he wears the masks, the more insistent and clear the masks become.
He can't just shut them out. Just as his body transforms, his mind does, too. It's not as drastic; part of his mind goes to sleep and lets the mask take over for a while. It's disorienting and unnerving -- though he has gotten somewhat used to it -- but he accepts it. He doesn't have a choice, after all. While he's picked up many skills during his travels and battles, he doesn't know everything.
How can he? He's human. He can't launch himself from a Deku Flower, curl up and pound the ground hard enough to leave a dent, glide almost effortlessly through the water, or hurl rings of energy from his sword. The masks aren't human; they remember the skills their selves had in life, skills he's needed in his quest to stop the moon.
And the only way to let them use their skills is for Link to let go, to yield control to a mind that isn't his. He fought at first; how could he not fight when something that wasn't him tried to control him?
The Deku is quiet and shy, never asking for control but constantly volunteering his help. He doesn't take control; Link gives him control. Darmani is stubborn but patient, reminding Link that he knows how to be a Goron and that it would be easier if the boy would quit wasting time and yield control already. Mikau is the most vocal about wanting control: c'mon, let's go; let's fly through the water.
The Fierce Deity, on the other hand, never volunteers his help or asks for control. He demands it. And should Link refuse or hesitate, he shoves the boy's consciousness to the side, wresting away control. He doesn't care about things such as mercy or moderation; when he fights, he kills everything that stands in his way.
Link reaches out and gingerly picks up the Fierce Deity's Mask. The mask is, as always, warmer than the air, and it hums in his hands, almost commanding him to put it on. He doesn't. Instead, he sets it down in his lap and stares down at its empty eyes.
The Deku prefers being in the swamp. He doesn't like Clock Town because of the dogs. He fears fire. He wants to be safe, and he wants to spend time with the Deku King's Butler -- his father.
Darmani dislikes water deeper than his waist. He's willing to do everything he can to protect his people. He's gruff, but he knows what he likes -- hot spring water and racing. He wants to do the things he likes, and he doesn't like being away from the mountains for any longer than he must. To him, Link spends too much time in the rest of Termina.
Mikau gets fidgety if he can't play his guitar at least a little every day; the act of playing calms him down. He also doesn't particularly like dry, hot stone, as Link found out the hard way climbing the Stone Tower. The only thing he asks for is the chance to play his guitar, as well as the occasional trip back to the Great Bay.
The Fierce Deity is only pleased when he's in command. There doesn't seem to be anything else he enjoys, though he may be so focused on battle that he doesn't really think about anything other than the fight. Link hasn't really needed his power except in battle, so there hasn't been much of a chance for the Fierce Deity to demand anything else.
Would he if there wasn't anything to fight?
Link doesn't know. His fingers linger around the edges of the mask. Does he dare put the mask on? He knows little more than that the soul inside it is a strong warrior with a dark power. It doesn't seem evil, but...
It's worth a try. Besides, in the end, Link was the one in control; he was able to take the mask off when he didn't need its power anymore. He should be able to again, right?
He puts the mask on the bed and peeks through the hole in the wall. No one seems to be visiting the shop right now, so as long as he can stay quiet, no one should notice. He nods to himself.
It isn't easy, but he manages to transform without yelling. Despite that -- or maybe because of that -- the disorientation is worse than normal; he leans forward on the bed to catch his breath. The room seems smaller now, much smaller.
He's never done this before, just sitting and adjusting to his new form. During the time loop, he was focused on surviving and stopping the moon. Afterward, he hadn't worn the masks much at all.
It's weird to just sit around in another form. He just sits there, looking around at the room that looks so different now. The owner of the shop is humming. Part of his mind -- the part that's the Fierce Deity right now -- is focusing on the song, listening for anything out of place. But the owner's not doing anything threatening.
Link closes his eyes. What does he want? His thoughts blur and then clear.
He wants out of this armor.
That's much simpler than he thought, so Link starts trying to find the clasps. No, stupid kid! The clasps aren't there; they're at the back! And there's a yank in his mind as the Fierce Deity snatches control of their body away from him, quickly and easily removing the thick leathery armor and setting it in the chair.
Link watches from the corner of his mind as the man in his body strips off most of his clothing and then sprawls out on the bed. It's too small for someone his size, but that doesn't seem to be a problem.
"What's so fascinating about this, kid?" He's talking under his breath, but that doesn't make his voice any less deep or imposing.
Nothing, really, Link thinks. He's just surprised that this is all the Fierce Deity wants.
"It might not seem like much to you, kid, but for me, this is a tiny bit of paradise."
Link doesn't understand.
"Of course not. You haven't spent centuries sealed inside a piece of wood."
True, but Link remembers the single-minded way the Fierce Deity has of fighting.
"Every warrior has to rest sometime, kid. Even me."
But is that all he wants? Just rest?
For now? That's not a real answer.
"Shut up. I'm trying to sleep."
He's not going to give a better answer until he feels like it. Link sighs. He's getting sleepy, now, and he doesn't have the energy to argue. So he sleeps.
Link wakes up curled up under the blanket in his real form. He doesn't remember taking the mask off, but he must have; it's sitting on the desktop with the other three. Was he only dreaming that the Fierce Deity just wanted rest? He must have been; there's no way that the mask could've removed itself.
He blows the lamp out, casting the room into darkness. Yeah, it was nothing more than a weird dream. He should go back to sleep; it's late, and if he's got his days straight, he's going to help Kafei paint tomorrow.
He really needs to stop overthinking things. Termina is at peace; he should be, too. He closes his eyes.
Good night, kid.